What to Expect from the 2020 Holiday Shipping Season
2020 has been a year unlike any other — and experts are predicting that the holiday shipping season will be no exception. Record-breaking shipping volume is expected to cause major challenges for shipping carriers, likely leading to package delays. Read on to understand what has led to the “Shipageddon” this year, and how you can prevent it from spoiling your holiday celebrations.
The COVID-19 Effect
A few factors are contributing to the expected explosion of shipping this holiday season, but they can all be tied back to COVID-19. First of all, buying habits shifted dramatically at the beginning of the pandemic. Restrictions made it difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers to operate, and safety concerns led people to stay home and do their shopping online. According to a global survey by Salesforce Inc., the prevalence of online shopping has tripled this year.
In addition to the volume of packages being shipped due to online shopping, shipping carriers are also seeing increased volume as a result of people’s reluctance to travel during the pandemic. People who would normally travel to be with loved ones on special occasions are instead shipping gifts to show that they care. Additionally, some are shipping supplies to older or immunocompromised family members who aren’t able to go out and do their own shopping.
All of that increased shipping adds up to unprecedented strain on shipping carrier capabilities. FedEx has reported that the network has been experiencing volume on par with Cyber Monday or peak Christmas consistently since March of 2020 — and now they’re gearing up for even more.
Winning the Ship-a-thon
Shipping carriers have been busily preparing to rise to the increased levels of demand and meet customers’ needs this holiday season. Major carriers like FedEx and UPS have hired tens of thousands of new staff members and are working tirelessly to increase capacity and move packages more quickly through their hubs and networks.
At PostNet, we’ll be paying close attention to shipping trends this holiday season so that we can make the best recommendations to our customers. By working with multiple carriers, we can help you choose the right option and service level to give your package the best shot at being delivered on time.
Pro Shipping Tips
Shippers are doing all they can to manage package volume this year — but delays may still be inevitable. And if you, like many of us, are relying on shipping your gifts this year in lieu of traveling home for the holidays, a delayed delivery would be doubly disappointing. Keep these tips in mind to get your shipments delivered by Christmas morning.
Ship EARLY. The most important way to ensure delivery by your target date is to give the shipping carriers as much time as possible. 2020 is NOT the year to procrastinate on your holiday shopping and shipping!
Build in a buffer. Even if a ground shipping service would typically be fast enough to get your package delivered on time, you might consider choosing a faster option to cut back on travel time.
Shop in-store if possible. If this is a comfortable and safe option for you, purchasing your gifts in a brick-and-mortar store and then shipping them to your recipients will cut back on processing time associated with e-commerce and give you control over when they get on their way.
In an unprecedented and chaotic year, trust in PostNet’s shipping experts to help you send love home for the holidays. From advising you on the best shipping options for your needs to packing your gifts securely, we’re here to help make the holidays merrier. Stop by your local PostNet center today to get started!
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